The Leadership Quarterly
In this study, we develop and examine a model of leaders' impression management during organizational decline by elaborating on the roles of publicity, image concerns, and incentive compensation. We propose that the publicity of decline is an important antecedent of leaders' impression management during decline. We also examine how leaders' image concerns mediate this positive relationship. In addition, we consider the relative influence of incentive compensation and fixed compensation on the relationship between leaders' image concerns and their impression management during decline. Our results, based on a specially-designed management simulation game conducted with experienced Chinese managers, show that high publicity of decline elevates leaders' image concerns, which in turn increases their impression management during decline. In addition, incentive compensation strengthens rather than weakens the effects of leaders' image concerns on their impression management. We discuss the implications of leaders' impression management during organizational decline.
Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science
This paper focuses on managers’ marketing decision making during performance decline. Drawing on the reconciliation of theories of failure-induced change and threat-rigidity by Ocasio (1995), we examine how performance decline may result in a rigid decision-making process and decision characteristics that reflect the narrowing of attention and increased risk seeking. Furthermore, drawing on managerial compensation research, we consider how incentive pay may affect the marketing decision-making process and decision characteristics of managers during performance decline. Using a simulation game with experienced Chinese managers, our results indicate that performance decline decreases marketing strategy process comprehensiveness but increases reliance on short-term marketing decisions, strategic change, and strategic risk taking. Moreover, incentive pay attenuates the rigid decision-making process of managers but accentuates their heightened risk seeking during performance decline. This paper offers unique behavioral insights into how managers make marketing decisions.